Mediacom negotiating in good faithwith KTTW-FOX, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Mediacom wants our customers served by KTTW-FOX, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to be informed and educated about Independent Communication’s threat to pull KTTW from your channel lineup.
KTTW-FOX (Sioux Falls, SD)
Blackouts are an increasingly common negotiating tactic that channel owners use to force cable and satellite companies to pay unreasonable rate increases on during contract renewals. Independent Communications believes that by threatening to hold Mediacom customers hostage they can extract a higher price for their product than if they relied on objective criteria to value their stations such as ratings, quality of content, etc.
It’s our goal to provide you with a great programming lineup at a reasonable price. When the channel owners ask for more money, we negotiate with them in an effort to keep the costs you ultimately pay as low as possible. Many channel owners routinely demand rate increases, but Independent Communications is going above and beyond by demanding over a 200% rate increase for KTTW. In fact, Independent Communications wants Mediacom to pay more for KTTW than any other broadcast station that Mediacom carries in the 22 states that we serve.
Mediacom would do that, but the individual TV stations have exclusive broadcasting rights over the affiliated network and syndicated programming they air in their markets. Under existing federal law, the owners can prevent Mediacom from replacing your local broadcast station with the signal of an out of market broadcast station. In short, local broadcast stations have been given monopoly power by the federal government and they use that power to squeeze more money out of cable and satellite customers and their customers.
We are doing everything we can to keep KTTW in your lineup under terms that are fair to you. Should Independent Communications reject our proposal, you should not switch TV providers for a couple reasons:
1. Our competitors are often targets for situations very similar to this one. In fact, Independent Communications blacked out KTTW from Dish Network customers in 2013. Nationally, there have been over 550 broadcast station blackouts since the beginning of 2012, and most have involved either Dish Network or DirecTV. If you choose a provider that still has your favorite stations, you may be impacted by this same situation at a later time.
2. When consumers switch providers as a result of a carriage negotiation, they are essentially enabling the anti-consumer pay-TV model that exists today. Media conglomerates like Independent Communications can squeeze more money out of consumers if they can rely on them to switch every time a provider doesn’t agree to unreasonable terms.